Awaiting a new dawn, SLC shopping spree not over yet | Sunday Observer

Awaiting a new dawn, SLC shopping spree not over yet

There is a new dawn for the country and hopefully a new dawn for Sri Lanka Cricket as well. And the downward slide will be arrested by the SLC administration’s new blood who will be brought in.

But before that there has been much window shopping, as it were, in the cricket coaching World Market for a Head Coach and Fielding Coach, Sri Lanka Cricket has finally picked on Mickey Arthur and Shane McDermott.

At the time of writing what has not ended is the shopping spree. The window shopping continues for a Bowling and Batting coach. Names have not been bandied about but as to whom they will finally settle for will be interesting to watch.

Once these two experts are picked it will be all international cricket coaching staff which will guide the players. It’s a pity though that not one home grown coach has been found fit enough for these assignments.

Sri Lanka has a surfeit of coaches armed with coaching certificates or credentials as it were, but sadly seem to be not good enough to wear the above pads. It’s a sad tale.

In lighter vein we would like to ask Sri Lanka Cricket to also look for a ‘Running between the wickets’, ‘Tossing’ and ‘How to face the media coach’. Our cricketers seem to be sadly lacking the finally mentioned three aspects and we hope that these aspects will also be addressed.

Arthur and McDermott will, it is said, be with the Sri Lankan team in Pakistan for the Two Test matches next month and pad up and take on the Sri Lankan cricketers after that tour, which will see Test cricket back in Pakistan after a decade of being in the graveyard of international cricket.

A ton of praise is due to the present Interim Head Coach Rumesh Ratnayake for a job well done under very trying circumstances. After Chandika Hathurusingha was dumped as Head Coach, SLC thrust the onus on Ratnayake.

Ratnayake a former fearsome and successful fast bowler who drew blood from West Indian batting greats Clive Lloyd and Larry Gomes when he was on the fast track did a great job as Interim Head Coach.

To recap it must be said that Lloyd unable to believe that he was struck by Ratnayake questioned the bowler’s action in an article that was ‘ghosted’ by former Australian cricket writer Dick Tucker. In conversation with Tucker on a tour I recalled that incident and the subsequent denial by Lloyd. Tucker vowed Lloyd said it but with pressure mounting Lloyd denied having said so. That was Lloyd who led West Indies to two World Cup final victories.

Ratnayake was a former bowling coach and we see no sense in SLC looking for a bowling coach when Ratnayake performed that job admirably to the satisfaction of all concerned. He must be slotted back into that post and not be a coach that cricket forgot.

And now to the new Head Coach Arthur. Arthur has been finally settled for after there was speculation that former England player and batting coach Mark Ramprakash was hot favourite for the job.

Incidentally Arthur is a cry over from Pakistan cricket after its team failed to live up to expectations in the recently concluded World Cup in England. Pakistan has now settled for a home grown coach in former run glut and captain Misbah ul Haq.

McDermott has been with South Australia and Tasmania as high performance coach and has been considered one of the best fielding coach’s in Australian cricket.

Whether Arthur and McDermott and the other two coaches yet to be picked will take Sri Lanka cricket to use a biblical term into the promised land will be keenly followed by the cricket crazy Sri Lanka cricket fans. To them success and nothing but success will be the bottom line. So the foreign coaches better watch out.

As for the moment, the Sri Lankans will be concentrating on the Two Test tour of Pakistan and shaping their plans and strategy for success, trying to emulate the T20 success by Sri Lanka cleverly led by Dhasun Shanaka, although it was in a different ball game.

New fearsome Pak pacie

Pakistan have produced some fearsome fast bowlers in the history of Test cricket who have gone on to instill fear in batsmen facing them with their searing pace, bounce and movement.

Names that come to mind are: Fazal and Khan Mohammed, Sarfraz Nawaz, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akthar, Wahab Riyaz and Mohammed Amir to mention a few.

The newest pace sensation to hit the pace turf is the tear away Naseem Shah the believe-it-or-not teenager who is just 16 who at the time of writing has been instilling fear on the Aussie batsmen who faced him in a practice game before the Test series began.

Shah has a peculiar action and with his tremendous pace in the air and off the wicket is sure going to trouble the Aussie front line batsmen. Shah if he delivers is set to be the SHAH of all Pakistan pacemen in their history. It will be interesting to see how the Aussie master batters will confront him.

The question will be whether Shah will put the Aussie pacemen James Pattinson, Patrick Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood out of the picture. The coming Tests will prove.

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